The Soul of OD

One of the cool things about the field of organization development (or OD for short) is that people are always asking, So what is OD? and What do you do? Funny thing is, the folks in OD ask these questions too!

OD folks seem to be in a perpetual state of self-analysis and self-criticism (maybe even self-doubt). To me, I think it's healthy, because it keeps us on-our-toes and ready to explain what it is we can bring to the party.

At the ODNET discussion board, someone recently asked, what is the soul of OD? I love it. This is a typical OD question.

What do OD folk do? One person answered, We provide processes for helping people to do better. For me, that means helping people in organizations to think better, plan better, learn better, perform better, improve better, figure-stuff-out better, interact better, and collaborate better.

That is the soul of OD.


Anonymous said…
When people ask me what OD is, I tell them it's like the protein boost in a health shake. To me, the practice of OD involves helping people and organizations do their best work. OD people are coaches, facilitators, and enablers of productive redesign.

Our results are their results. Our work is to pump up the velocity of their work in such a way that our role is virtually transparent. We are not the heros or stars, but we are their secret weapons. That's what I like about the work.

Lisa Haneberg, Management Craft
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